The Law Society welcomes legislation to implement scheme for the expungement of historical homosexual convictions
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Law Society of Western Australia welcomes the passage of legislation through State Parliament that will implement a scheme for the expungement of historical homosexual convictions related to consensual homosexual activity.
Consensual homosexual activity was historically criminalised by provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1913, which have since been repealed. However, this did not address continuing issues for those people who had been convicted under the previously existing discriminatory legislation.
The passage of the legislation follows extensive advocacy by the Law Society. In April 2016, the Law Society made a submission to the then Attorney General, encouraging the introduction to the Western Australian Parliament of legislation to extinguish and expunge all criminal convictions for historical offences that were discriminatory to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community.
Law Society President Hayley Cormann said, “The Law Society is very pleased that this legislation has now been passed by the Parliament of Western Australia. Many LGBTQI Western Australians have been forced to bear the stigma of having a criminal record and the practical impediments created by a criminal record in relation to travel, employment, volunteering, appointments, licences and other permissions.”
“The Law Society has long advocated for this legislation, and its passage marks a significant step towards correcting longstanding historical injustice and discrimination towards the LGBTQI community,” said Ms Cormann.
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About us: The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 4,000 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.